Ampersand, a Rwandan company, has received a $9 million loan from DFC to help it grow operations in Rwanda and Kenya

Ampersand, a Rwandan start-up, has announced that it has received a $9 million financing facility from the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to expand its activities in Rwanda and Kenya.

Ampersand is a local electric motorcycle start up that has successfully launched electric motorcycles with battery switch stations.

The loan is DFC's first for electric mobility, and it demonstrates growing investor confidence in Africa's burgeoning e-mobility sector.

According to company executives, the $9 million loan would enable Ampersand to increase the number of electric bikes in Rwanda and Kenya to thousands by the end of 2022.

The loan follows a $4 million Series A deal raised by Ampersand earlier in 2021, which was sponsored by Silicon Valley investors Ecosystem Integrity Fund (EIF) and TotalEnergies.

The company became commercial in 2019 with a startup financing of around $600,000.

In 2018, FactorE Ventures, Rwanda Green Fund, USAID's Development Innovation Ventures, Shell Foundation, the UK FCDO's Frontier Technology Livestreaming fund, the New Zealand Government, and a loan from Blue Haven Initiative's Catalytic Fund all provided assistance and money.

"We're happy to have DFC on board with this historic initiative, which is developing momentum to electrify all 5 million motorbike taxis in East Africa by 2030." "DFC's backing demonstrates the practicality and investability of electric two-wheelers for mass-market customers," stated Josh Whale, Ampersand's Founder and CEO.

The company presently employs roughly 45 people and has developed most of its own unique technology, such as the processors included in battery packs.

Electric mobility is becoming increasingly popular across the world because to its environmental friendliness as well as long-term cost-effectiveness.

The business is counting on the industry's expanding popularity throughout the world, which has allowed start-ups in the area to readily obtain financing boosted by sector advancements.

"This is a fresh and interesting industry." There is a lot of interest and investment in climate change, and there is a strong sense that electric mobility will play a significant role in the future and will be financially feasible," Whale said in a recent interview.

The company has previously stated its willingness to form alliances with players by collaborating with gas station operators to establish battery swap stations, as well as motorbike manufacturers.

Cabinet authorised an electric mobility adaption plan in April of this year, with the goal of expanding the number of electric vehicles and motorbikes.

Among the strategy's primary components are a variety of incentives for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and hybrid electric vehicles.

The incentives, according to authorities, are intended to entice investments in the new and emerging industry.

The incentives cover critical aspects in the adoption of electric vehicles and motorbikes, such as energy costs, taxes, and infrastructure, among others.

The major goal is to make owning and maintaining electric automobiles and motorbikes less expensive than owning and maintaining a gasoline-powered vehicle.


Posted on : 23 Feb,2024 | News Source :

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